Sixteen Shells from a thirty-ought-six

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers signed Mike Smith officially yesterday, the two-year deal coming in at $2.2 million times two. That’s less than I thought it would be on a one-year deal, my suspicion was $2 million with another $1 million available via easy to reach bonuses. That’s not good for the cap overage, so that’s a better plan for next year if Smith is the target (Smith was always the target).

How much work is left? Zach Hyman appears destined to sign a seven-year, $5.5 million deal and there’s names like Tyson Barrie, Kailer Yamamoto, Jujhar Khaira and others to make decisions on. There’s some loud noises on the way.


I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!


Please hold your applause until the end of the presentation.

James Neal is bought out. Oscar Klefbom is on LTIR (Kassian waived to get there), Koskinen is in the minors, as is Kyle Turris. William Lagesson is either in Bakersfield or on another NHL roster.

Just a flood of free-agent deals bring in Zach Hyman, Tyson Barrie, Petr Mrazek, Erik Haula, Alex Wennberg, Slater Koekkoek. I moved Nuge to No. 3 left wing so you had something new to be unhappy about, suspect he’ll land on the No. 2 line.

This team is right to the cap, less than $100,000 left with Oscar on LTIR.

OILERS NHLE 2019-2021

One of the things that came out of draft weekend is the sense Xavier Bourgault is not a strong first-round pick. I ran NHL equivalencies for the last three Oilers drafts, and as you can see, Bourgault’s offense in his draft year is the most promising in the group. Anything over 30 points NHLE in a draft year is a strong showing.

Interesting to see progress through the years for men like Lavoie, Holloway and Savoie. Although we often say the draft year and first year pro (age 20, mostly) are the most important years in development, showing a spike in draft plus one is a good indicator.

Looking at this list, I’d say Lavoie is on track for an NHL career, and may be the first to push Puljujarvi-Yamamoto on the skill lines. Two Russian forwards (Maxim Denezhkin and Maxim Bereskin) and one Russian goalie (Konovalov) are trending in a good direction.

The star on this list is Dylan Holloway. Absolute fire.

Philip Broberg gets no respect at all from many Oilers fans, but has in fact progressed. At the same age, Oscar Klefbom’s NHLE was 13.3, meaning Broberg is right in the range offensively.

I’ll be working on the top-20 prospects list for The Athletic today, likely out tomorrow depending on how loud the explosions get in the next 24 hours.


I think Ken Holland has set up the next couple of weeks very well, there should be money for Hyman, Barrie, Mrazek and we’ll see about that No. 3 line (I added two men, expect one).

The RH side of Barrie, Bear and Bouchard has the feel of too much puck mover and not enough suppression. I expect, and it’s good to be prepared, for a wildly unpopular trade involving one of the youngsters.

Edmonton could try running two righties on a third pair, and I looked at adding Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals (Caps need cap relief) but it doesn’t work. I did like the idea of Dillon playing with Bouchard, though.

Anyway, I’m not sure what Holland will get for a young RH blue and wish he wouldn’t, but you can see it coming like a wild prairie storm building on the horizon.


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I’d certainly rather have Hamilton than Hyman and Barrie. No idea if he has any interest in playing in EDM however. But it has to look somewhat attractive. Look what it did for Barrie’s numbers. And he’d be guaranteed to play with one of Nurse, Keith (for next 2 years) and up-and-comers Broberg or Samorukov after that. Bouchard might move into 2nd pair by the end of the year pushing Bear down to 3rd pair. And down the road, Bouchard might even challenge him for 1st pair. But as I said, on the 2nd pair, he’ll get Broberg or Samorukov who look like they could be beasts. All this while feeding McDavid and Draisaitl up front, along with Nuge, Holloway, Yamamoto, and Puljujarvi.

Hyman 5.5 + Barrie 4.5 = $10M. Hamilton at $8M to $8.5M x 7 would set this D corp up as one fo the best, or the best in the NHL for the next 7 years. Also, I think Wennberg might be as good as Hyman. Their production was similar last season and Wennberg is only 26 to Hyman’s 29. Haula is a decent bottom 6 C. One of Mrazek or Ullmark would be a great 1A/1B situation with Smith.


Tomorrow is the 26th so, if the Oilers are buying anyone out, they need to be on waivers tomorrow at 10am, no?

Gerta Rauss

As the clock ticks relentlessly toward the opening of the free-agent market on July 28, time is getting short for NHL teams to exercise buyouts. The buyout window will slam shut at 5 p.m. ET on July 27, meaning that any player without a no-movement clause will have to be on waivers Monday in order to be eligible to have their contract bought out.



Drance seems to have a very cinematic way of presenting facts.

Gerta Rauss

lol..yes..I had to re-read the sentence a couple times and to digest what was being communicated


I don’t mind it, I think. Though I haven’t read much of him, not sure how I’d feel if it was an every day thing.

And oh my… I’m imagining whatever he wrote about the OEL trade must have been very dramatic. I suppose I could look..

Harpers Hair

An interesting thread on the Flames pursuit of Eichel featuring the thoughts of a veteran Flames observer.

Kent Wilson (@Kent_Wilson) Tweeted:
For the Flames this means 2022 first rounder, one of Zary, Pelletier, or Coronato and some combination of Dube, Mangiapane, Valimaki, Hanifin, or Andersson.


That would be a dream come true if it happened. Calgary would be giving up what little NHL talent they have and would be cratering their nonexistent prospect pool even more.


That also seems like a very optimistic take on the cost.

1 year of Seth Jones cost more than the above. Unless Kent means multiple of the NHLers are involved, the wording is a little unclear. 1st, top prospect, Dube/Mangiapane and Hanifin/Andersson seems more realistic.

Harpers Hair

I think that’s about what he’s proposing.


Yeah. I was going to lament his $10M contract but there’s a lotta deals in that range around now. That’s probably not a bad trade for Calgary, pending Eichel’s health.

What a crazy value deal Draisaitl’s has turned into though.

Harpers Hair

Thing is…with Eichel at $10 million and Lindholm at $4.8 for another 3 seasons, the Flames would have a great 1-2 punch at centre and be able to allocate cap space to other areas of need.


Sure, yes.

Were the trade to happen Eichel+Lindholm would be in range of Draisaitl+Nuge but a bit more expensive. Also ignoring assists out for Eichel, of course.

It would leave the Flames about $17M in resources to fill 10 roster slots. Lots of areas of need.


One of??? I think you mean all of!!
anyways Wild easily beat this offer

The Trade Guy

I think the Rangers could too.


The Oilers have invited Brady Burns from Saint John Sea Dogs to Training Camp. Overager, C/LW, 19 Years old, put up 38 points in 32 games played after putting up 57 points in 64 games the previous year.

Not sure if they have been linked to any other teams yet, but I hope the Oilers also try and get both Trevor Wong and LT’s favourite Eric Alarie invited to camp. Think those are two of the more interesting undrafted forwards.


I’d like to see Trevor Wong get signed or at least invited to camp. Along with small overage RHD Miguel Tourigny.


Khaira is UFA

Harpers Hair

Vancouver a likely destination…a local boy.


Any place with a roster spot a likely destination

Harpers Hair

He would be a fan favorite in Vancouver which has a huge South Asian community.

League minimum 4th liner.


No surprise


HH is right – Khaira would be a rockstar here in lower Mainland BC … not sure if that’s a good thing for his career though. He’s barely hanging on to the bottom rung of the NHL (which of course is better than being on the top rung of the AHL) … he needs to be focused on hockey at all times if he wants to stay in the NHL. See Virtanen, Jake as a prime example of how playing in the home market can work to a young player’s detriment.

Harpers Hair

It’s a worry for sure but I’ve seen nothing from Khaira that indicates he would go off the rails like Virtanen.

Representing his community might just have the opposite effect.


If anyone is going to take him it’s probably Van but with J.J needing to be physical to stay in the league teams will be very leery.

Last edited 2 months ago by Reja
Bank Shot

I don’t think Khaira’s character or work ethic has ever been a question.

He just doesn’t have the talent to be more than a 4th liner.

Hopefully he continues to stick in the NHL.


I know it is dangerous to mention, but there was something personal that he was dealing with last season. I was told this in early 2020 by an acquaintance at work here in Calgary with ties to the South Asian community. I am aware of who his source of this info is from, so it seemed legit to me.

He said this was why JJ was struggling after signing his previous deal. I am glad it wasn’t made public, but if it had it likely would impact his career. Not sure if it was kept under wraps inside the org or if it was shared amongst the 100 hockey men… But a simple mention of this from within the circle might give a GM pause regarding the player.


Unless I am mistaken I think the Oilers could technically still sign Khaira and Kahun before they become UFA’s on Wednesday. Might not be likely, but in both cases they Oilers could be willing to take them back just not at the QO price for Khaira and the arbitration prices if either had gone to that. Khaira might not replicate his $1.2 million per season anywhere, and certainly with Kahun, since arbitrators can consider 3 years of performance, an arbitration award could have been a lot more than what the Oilers or anyone else would want to pay. That’s why Kahun wasn’t qualified by Buffalo last year as well. Don’t know if the Oilers have already asked either to sign for less or or the Oilers are ready to move on.


Its been widely reported that the Oilers have been hoping to bring Khaira back at a lower AAV – no such reports on Kahun.


I have no doubt about his commitment to his career, but Khaira would be wise to sign back with Edmonton. He’s a fringe NHLer, though one with a clearly defined role in Edmonton. Better to be the 12th forward on an NHL team, than having to come in to a new organization where you will have to again win a job in pre-season. Signing with Vancouver might have some allure, but he might end up spending more time even closer to home … playing for their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford.

Scungilli Slushy

I don’t think Holland over ripens prospects. I say this because he said it himself as Wing’s GM.

He said then he had well established rosters that were hard to push onto. They were signing whatever free agents they wanted.

As for drafting they did what they did because they couldn’t draft a big Canadian C because of being good for a long time.

Now he won’t bring a prospect up if he feels they are not mentally ready. So they don’t go back and lose confidence.

Benson spoke about where he’s at mentally now, he wasn’t there completely before. Now he’s foaming at the mouth to show what he’s got.

Holland didn’t slow play McLeod. Holloway is very very close, even Button said so. Don’t be surprised if he makes it out of camp.

Last edited 2 months ago by Scungilli Slushy

That’s why I want them to bring in Palat and have Nuge take the youngens under his wings in 3rd line

Scungilli Slushy

I think that would be ideal.

The youngs can have shelter and learn good habits, and contribute more now.

The alternative is less skill than them or more cap.


Benson, Holloway, Samorukov or Broberg, McLeod and Bouchard all have a pretty good chance of breaking camp on the roster imo.

Tippett is going to have to hope it isn’t too painful while they figure it out.

Scungilli Slushy

Bouch for sure.


With KRussell as cover I expect Sammy or Broberg as well. Depends on if Holland can find a veteran for the 2RD spot imo.

Scungilli Slushy

Poor Willy.

Also it should be noted Holland sees Bro as playing both sides.

Could be how they keep them both at some point.


So, so, so many d-men in Europe play their off-side – its a far cry from doing in the NHL – time will tell of Sammy or Broberg can but I anticipate coaches Playfair and Tippett would prefer them on their natural sides to start their NHL careers.


I agree except for Broberg – I anticipate he will indeed sparkle at camp, as almost all young high skill prospects do (in particular those with size and speed) but I can’t imagine him breaking camp with the team over Samorukov.


Holland said, near the beginning of his Oiler tenure that he doesn’t like to send young prospects down after getting a shot – he likes to make sure they are ready (as sure as you can be) and then bring them up/in. He’s not a fan of the “yo-yo”.

I think Holland’s mistake last year wasn’t not calling Benson up during the year but sending him down in the first place. I said before the season started, he should be on the taxi squad because he will impact the lineup – if he gets sent down, he’s down for good due to the situation. P. Russel should have been the player sent to the AHL in January.

I think there is one thing we can all agree on – we are on the verge of finding out with surgery if Benson is going to have a place on the Oilers roster or not – its now or never.

Gerta Rauss

I think there is one thing we can all agree on – we are on the verge of finding out with surgery if Benson is going to have a place on the Oilers roster or not

Jesus…what did you have in mind..?

Last edited 2 months ago by Gerta Rauss
Harpers Hair

Perhaps swapping his arms to get a right shot😜


Keith is apparently recruiting Getzlaf.

Bank Shot

Where did you see this?


Lol – imagine if we end up with Getzlaff and Perry on our team next year. We’d still hate those guys but be cheering for them to play well. It would be so weird.
(That said, I cheer for the crest on the front … the Oilers are my team, so I’d get over it).

Scungilli Slushy

Are we sure he has 3C juice left? His scoring is pretty not strong.

Maybe if he’s ok doing 4C till playoffs, like Perry.


Holy crap
someone is actually going to sign Suter to a 4 year 35+ contract until he’s 41
I though it was a joke

Harpers Hair

Maybe if Boston paid Caleb Jones and a second round pick for his rights you would feel better about it.


Making snide comments while your Canucks are paying $8.25 mil for a 3rd pairing defenseman, and for how many more years? Hahaha

Bank Shot

Maybe if you weren’t a douche you wouldn’t be a douche.

Randle McMurphy

The #Oilers have issued qualifying offers to pending restricted free agent forwards Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Benson & Cooper Marody as well as goaltender Stuart Skinner.


Yup – no surprises – this was reported by Nugent-Bowman a little while ago.


Khaira is free agent
given the response a few days ago when I said they should move on that should probably count as a surprise


Its not a surprise that he wasn’t qualified because we were told that he wasn’t going to be – Nugent-Bowman reported it a good week ago and Holland said so publically the other day. Doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to bring him back but I think the player likely wants to move on.

Harpers Hair

Jeff (@almeida022680) Tweeted:
@GlobeKPD Seems like it’s gonna take 4 years to get Suter. Should Bruins do it and what a reasonable AAV for him at this stage and buyout $$ factored in?


Lol at whoever signs Suter to a 4 year deal


And yes the Bruins should totally do it.


And you don’t get Spurgeon with him either

Harpers Hair

If he signed in Boston, his partner would likely be Brandon Carlo.

Im sure he would be fine and would likely score 50 points on a high octane offensive team.


4 years??? He turns 37 this year.
hes not putting up 50 points
The Wild have a lot of good offense and his numbers fell of a cliff


I hope some team front-loads that deal which means its all but impossible to get it off their cap.

Harpers Hair

4 years of Ryan Suter is a much better bet than 2 years of Duncan Keith.

If you can get him at a reasonable cap hit, say $4M, you do that all day long.


I sincerely hope they do
Extreme value contract that is guaranteed to age well
H.H. are you drunk, on Sunday?

Last edited 2 months ago by Pescador

Drunk on his own hyperbole.


How many Conn Smyth, Norris and Stanley Cups does Suter have……..enough trolling loser


The PK Subban deal I suggested does not work because his $6 million dollar signing bonus has already been paid, and he is only owed $2 million more on his contract.

Todd Macallan

In other prospect related news, not only are Bourgault and Tullio taking part in the WJC Devt Camp this summer but Jeremias Lindewall is on team Sweden currently at the USA Hockey Summer Showcase.

They are 0-2 so far, Lindewall with 1 assist on a Rosen PP goal yesterday against the Finns. Started on the second line with Lysell in game 2 today.

Solid chances to have some prospects make their World Jr teams, along with possibly Petrov and Berezkin for Russia. Assuming Munzenberger is a lock again for Germany.

Randle McMurphy

Clearly the presentation is over now. Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clad Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clad Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clad Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clad Clap Clap


Happy and somewhat surprised that Cooper Marody got his qualifying offer today. With Yamamoto, Benson and Skinner.


A few weeks ago I would have agreed but Nugent Bowman (and maybe Gregor) had previously reported that Marody was going to get one.


Not Lennstrom?


A couple of comments on the draft.

Considering what I wrote before the draft on Wallstedt I obviously feel it was a mistake passing on him when he fell. I assume the Oiler scouts weren’t all that high on him and since he dropped the way he did it seems more teams felt the same way. I guess the stuff I read about teams being concerned that his technical ability is so advanced there isn’t much room for improvement may gave been true. Which to me is backwards, you’d never worry about the technical skills of a skater being too good, why would it be a concern with a goalie. Pure physical stuff is easier to improve as you leave your teens than technical skills and hockey sense, this goes for goalies too. Pronman mentioned concerns with work ethic as well something I’ve never heard anything about over here, he got by a lot on talent at 14-15 so needed to adjust but since he moved to Luleå a few years ago I’ve heard nothing praise about his work ethic. Don’t get it.

Anyways I’m not going to fret over it since goalies are goalies and even a kid as advanced as Wallstedt is a major gamble in the first round. When I did my draft work six years ago I even expressed that avoiding goalies in the first two rounds is likely a good strategy. And as I mentioned the Oil weren’t the only org passing on him, Detroit traded up to take Cossa over him, so clearly a large part of the scouting community sees something to scare them off. I disagree but I usually suck at evaluating goalies so who am I to question anyone. Time will tell.

Bourgault sounds like an interesting pick as well so that softens the blow, haven’t seen him outside of clips but a prospect who gets credited with high IQ, great hands, both a good release and vision plus the ability to find good ice sounds like someone who could translate very well to pro hockey. And if they weren’t high on Wallstedt trading down for someone else to grab him, getting the guy you like and adding an asset is obviously a no brainer.

Munzenberger who they took with the extra pick has some intrigue as well. I remember liking him during the WJCs but it’s not like he blew the doors off, what makes me think they may have found something here is the fact he barely played due to the german junior league shutting down but instead trained with the DEL men’s team, he couldn’t play games since he was going the college route and playing pro games would violate NCAA rules. So he’s training with Leon’s old DEL team, coached by Leon’s dad, then once the season has ended he joins Vermont under Jay Woddcroft’s brother. So just from training with these two teams he impresses enough to not only get the Oilers interested but he builds enough hype that they were glad, from Wright’s post draft interview, they got the extra third rounder because there were other teams circling. That has me wondering, how much did this kid impress in practice to get that type of interest as a previously fairly unknown prospect? Intriguing I say.

Petrov also comes off as a strong pick based on reports and clips. His numbers as an u18 guy in the MHL are strong. The Russia-CHL move doesn’t always go smoothly, I hope he shows well in the OHL from the get go but some early struggle should be expected.

As far as the rest of the Swedes go they ended up around where I felt they should have gone, think Calgary got great value with Strömgren, Robertsson even dropped out of the second, I had him pegged as a mid-late 2nd rounder but I don’t think the third round is wrong for him, same goes for Anton Olsson. Oliver Johansson went earlier than expected but I get why someone would like him as a target. In my pre draft write up I forgot to mention Lucas Forsell as a good late round gamble, there’s proper upside there and he’s a nice 7th round pick for the Canucks. I never found the time to write anything on the swedish D this year but tbh it’s a bit of an off year for D, outside of Edvinsson and Olsson(who I’m not super high on) the only truly interesting D this year is overager Viktor Hurtig who the Devils took in the 6th round, 6’6 RHD project who moves from Västerås to Växjö next season which should help him grow his game, will be interesting to see if he can find a way to the NHL. Good late round gamble from the Devils.

Now free agency. Be very afraid…


People say “well we can trade or sign UFA goalies that we know were proven winners…” However, this route is always expensive and goalies are fewer in numbers as picks and draft picks take longer to develop or do they. As a two goalies per team requirement, however, one must wonder statistically that since the limited availability of prospects for one position, you would think teams would stressed the then importance of the position. However, GMs have conditioned their thinking that the goalie pick is risky in round one and only be considered for later rounds. This may be true for goalies who are BPA for later rounds. Like most forwards and dmen picked in later rounds, the development and growth curve is usually 3-5 years. However, goalies whom are BPA in first rounds should be picked as that as well as for need.We have Wellstedt that fills both BPA and need, yet, we went for another scoring forward. I get it, goalies cannot skate up ice and score but they sure are prime importance during playoffs when the best scorers would come up goose-eggs against a zoned-in goalie. Some defensive minded teams who are successful build their team from the net out. Look at Tampa Bay. They have the best net minder in the league then follow by great defensemen to support. The rest is easy. Find high potential forwards and have the backend protect the net while the forwards grow into their own ie. Guorde (not drafted), Killorn (drafted 77), Palat (drafted 208), Point (drafted 79), Johnson (not drafted)…
Now drafting Xavier Bourgault in 22nd spot will take 3-4 years to develop and that is probably how long it would take Wellstedt to grow into his own. Isn’t the Oilers master plan to win in 3-4 years? Another thing, the Oilers should be as shrewd as Yzerman’s move to leap frog and get Cossa (I believe the Oilers had their 19th pick for Cossa). Yzerman out duel Holland again, again? Well, Yzerman took Holland to the wood shed with Anthanasiou trade having Holland giving up 2 second rounders-one of which he could sure use to move up the draft position (ensuring they get Cossa).

Last edited 2 months ago by slurve

KH is on a different timeline than SY. 1st round forwards can take the big league in 1-3 yrs.


If this is KH’s logic [instead of his famed over ripen] he would not be trying to sign another top 6 LW to a 7-8 year contract. (The first being Nuge) Instead he would be looking for short term cover until Holloway is ready.

Last edited 2 months ago by Oil2Oilers
Crazy Pedestrian

One thing to consider with Both Detroit and Minnesota was that they both had 2 first round picks, so could “afford” to gamble on a 1st round goalie. The Oilers however, didn’t have another pick until the fourth round before the trade-down with Minny. So gambling on a goalie (who was likely not the one they wanted) didn’t seem like a good investment especially with the whole “win now” mantra.

Im sure if the oilers had another 1st rounder, they would have snagged the goalie (or traded up to get Cossa)


One thing to note is both teams have good young goalies already with Ned and Kahkonen so they have plenty of time to be patient if it takes 6 years to develop.
if Oilers drafted either would they have the patience for 6 years? Doubt it

Randle McMurphy

Poster Poll

Choose by hitting PLUS

USING THE TWO POSTS below this post.

Would you prefer

A) Evan Bouchard, the Oilers 1st Rd Draft picks in 2021 and 2022 for Seth Jones


B) Duncan Keith for Caleb Jones and 3rd

Randle McMurphy

A) Evan Bouchard, the Oilers 1st Rd Draft picks in 2021 and 2022 for Seth Jones

Randle McMurphy

B) Duncan Keith for Caleb Jones and 3rd

Randle McMurphy

Please choose only one of the two answers. DONT PLUS 1 and Minus the other.


B – I’d prefer to keep a steady pipeline of first round picks matriculating through the Bake. We finally have a good developmental program, to keep churning the kids through, and the Oilers scouts have been selecting quality in the first round for several years.

As a plus, Bouchard gets to see how a first ballot hall of famer goes about his business for a couple of years.


Seth Jones is the most overrated D man in the league and is about to be the new OEL with that contract. B all day.

Last edited 2 months ago by Bigton

To be honest
but the Keith one is more palatable


Option C – panic and offer Larsson 5×5 not to talk with Seattle prior to the expansion draft.

Option D – not getting Keith, then losing Larsson, then watching teams overpay for Risto and Jobes leaving us stuck with no one capable of playing 2nd pairing minutes. Then having to sign Suter for 4 years.


If it is win now-4 years, why not Hamilton? Use Berry/Larsson cash , offer 7×8.5. Does he hate Canada, won’t come to Edmonton? Just getting nervous that we will acquire retreads and spin our wheels for another couple of years. I guess I don’t trust Holland as much as I should.


If success this off-season is predicated on getting Hamilton, then we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.

We can’t pay for Nurse’s contract extension if we sign Hamilton and Hyman this off-season. Hyman wants to to come to Edmonton, but there has been no indication that Hamilton wants to come back to Alberta. Very likely that he opts for a US city that’s got nice weather and low taxes.

I for one am fine with bringing Barrie back as long as he’s reasonable with his contract ask – if he accepts one of the 4 or 5 year offers that they made to Larsson (e.g. 3.9M x 4 or 3.1M x 5 years) with no more than a limited NTC, then that would be acceptable. He’s a fantastic PP point man … best we’ve had in decades. Excellent at holding the line, can take a pass and make a pass. Has an accurate right-handed one-timer. Yes, he’s one-dimensional but that dimension is elite. And we’ve heard several times that there is a good fit (which I take to mean in the dressing room, as much as on the ice).

Signing Barrie would allow Bouchard to cement his place on the NHL roster without the pressure of having to QB the PP. Bouchard can be spotted on the PP from time to time to give the unit a different look. Keeps Bouchard’s counting numbers down, and his next contract manageable. if Bouchard blows the doors off and earns the number 1 PP time, then Barrie at the price suggested above is still tradeable.

We shift gears and work with what we have ,,, with Nurse, Barrie, Keith, Bouchard and Bear, we should be able to transition quickly out of our zone. No more Russell rests, No more off the glass and back to the opposition. It’ll be up to the forward group to maintain possession … spend whatever funds are left on two more wingers to complement Hyman (who can move over to RW once Holloway has completed his apprenticeship in the AHL), get a legit 3C, promote Benson and move on from players who struggle to maintain O-zone possession (Chiasson, Khaira, Kahun, Turris, Kassian, Neal). Being 4 effective lines deep will take the pressure off our D and goaltenders.

Randle McMurphy

Surely Ron Francis is a seller of defensemen in the coming weeks.

What would he be willing to part with that we need?


Who would you target, other than Larsson?

Randle McMurphy

You’re right. I should have taken a closer look.


What would it take to get larsson from him?


Jones and a third?

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Omark and a 2nd.



Randle McMurphy

Draft and Develop?

Toronto had 15 roster forwards in 2020-21. 5 were players they drafted

Toronto had 8 roster defensemen. 3 were players they drafted.

Toronto had 3 roster goalies. None of which they drafted.

26 players of which only 8 were drafted by the Maple Leafs. That’s 32.5%

And adding both the 2021 Entry Draft and the 2022 Entry Draft, the Maple Leafs have a total of 6 picks. 3 of which are a 5th, a 6th, and a 7th.

Randle McMurphy

Anyone talking about the boy wonder having pillaged his prospects and squandered the future?

Scungilli Slushy

There is no one way. Just be smart.

There are so many variables: player health, available free agents and what they want, cap changes, luck at the draft, no luck at the draft, players asking out or not re-signing.

Once Holland fills out the line up, the system is getting stocked up again and should push most of the replacements up. They are only thin at RD and RC and maybe goal depending on your opinion.

Tampa only drafted Hedman on the D they have won with. The goalie, and the top 6 forwards. Most of the bottom 6 weren’t. The Oilers soon will have more drafted players in than they did.


How many playoff series have then won?


Same amount as the Oilers


Oilers won a playoff series in 2017.


Under tricky Pete.


The Foligno trade was stupid on day 1 and remains stupid to this day

Scungilli Slushy

To me this underscores the problem with the Boy Genius GMs, and the hustle they pulled on teams.

Kudos to them for queue jumping two decades of time put in.

A team shouldn’t ignore stats because they can add good information into decision making that is sometimes hard to eyeball perhaps.

A team can’t fly only by instruments either. For long. There is no replacing a good experienced pilot.

Bergevin added some established players to flesh out his roster. Mostly still in prime.

And he added Perry. Everyone knows he can’t skate now, he never could well.

Everyone also knows what he brings. He has a Cup and that’s a thing, but more his attitude and what he brings when the chips are down.

200% balls out, leave it all on the ice, never back down. One guy.

Dubas went to the extreme on this, apparently also ignoring analytics and common sense about a salary cap.

I don’t think he knows what is needed to make a complete NHL team.

He added ‘obvious’ names, players with rep. He seemed to be adding fading marquee names for a team that sells out no matter what crap they ice.

Did he not understand signing Tavares would create a top heavy roster? Does he not get he needs to sell somebody now to be deeper?

Bringing in so many declining geezers for ‘leadership’ shows a leader that doesn’t get it.

Simmonds is a tough, I suppose Foligno is gritty?

But I don’t actually think any of Tavares Thornton Spezza Foligno are gritty. Good players yes, most declining, I wouldn’t pick any for my team.

Bergevin schooled Dubas. If he had the elite talent the Canadiens would own the Leafs.

Because he can use analytics and he has enough experience to knows what it takes, what he’s looking for.


Old Dutch should teach young Dubis a lesson and sign Galchenyuk for $1.5M for 2 years rather than Hyman for 7 years.


Galchenyuk is 2 years younger, has a better playoff ppg .45 vrs .41 and can also play 3C.

Randle McMurphy

or both.

Scungilli Slushy

Galchenyuk will be the only one doing the schooling, getting another GM to give him an NHL contract.



For full disclosure, I was in favour of the trade down by Holland to grab the Borgue. I wanted Wallstedt but understood the rationale. I decided to run an interesting experiment. I ran through each goalie who were their teams primary starting goalie when they won the cup. I listed which round they were drafted, or how they were otherwise acquired:

2006 – *Ward (Drafted 1st round)
2007- *Giguere (Trade)
2008- Osgood (free agency)
2009- *Fleury ( Drafted 1st overall)
2010- Niemi ( signed from Europe)
2011- Thomas (signed as free agent)
2012- Quick (Drafted 2nd round)
2013- Crawford (Drafted 2nd round)
2014- Quick 
2015 – Crawford 
2016- Murray (Drafted 3rd round)
2017- *Fleury/Murray 
2018- Holtby (Drafted 3rd round)
2019- Binnington (Drafted 3rd round)
2020- *Vasilevskiy (Drafted 1st round)
2021- Vasilevskiy 

Time taken from draft to first Stanley Cup for drafted and developed goalies:

Ward- 4 years
Vasilevskiy- 6 years
Fleury – 6 years 
Murray- 6 years
Quick – 7 years
Binnington- 7 years
Crawford – 9 years
Holtby – 10 years

Avg: 6.8 years 

Of the 16 Stanley Cup winners in the salary cap era, 12 have had goalies that were drafted and developed by their team

3 champions had goalies acquired through free agency 

1 had a goalie acquired via trade (Giguere, although he was acquired as a prospect)

5 champion teams played a goalie they drafted in the first round (Fleury/ Vasy/ Ward)

Interestingly, not a single team has acquired an established starting goalie via trade and won the cup. A few runner ups off the top of my head have (Roli, Bishop, Luongo) but no winners.

The last 10 Stanley Cup winning teams employed a goalie they had drafted and developed. The last goalie who was acquired by their eventual winning team was Tim Thomas.

**Of special note, Osgood was drafted by the Red Wings, but let go and signed after a few years on other teams.**

Last edited 2 months ago by 31saves

Good stuff! Thanks!


LeBrun with a piece out at The Athletic – will just note that Barrie seems a legit option for the Canes if Hamilton doesn’t re-sign.

Randle McMurphy

I think Barrie would like/chose Carolina just as much as he liked Edmonton.


So is the Fourth Period a reliable source? Zach Laing says Oilers talking to Coyotes about Kuemper. I could see a scenario where we retain on Koski and trade him for Kuemper. Their cap it is the same but Kumper makes $5.5 in actual dollars this year. Coyotes seem to just want to reduce salary. That would make our goaltending expensive for this year, but I just hate the idea of going with the same pairing next year.


Tweaked my interest…I used the Googler…
The Article At BLH that quotes the Fourth Period source:

Proposes this as the trade to get Kuemper for 1 year:
“Is the 2021 first, Koskinen, the rights to Cooper Marody and a prospect like Markus Niemelainen enough to get Kuemper to Edmonton? That’s to be determined.”

It should be 1:1 with some money retained by the Oil, if necessary. A first round draft pick to do this would be completely nuts, but this sounds like the kind of total dumbass trade Kenny could make…


I expect there will be a deal for Merzlikins with Koski retained and a pick or prospect headed the other way. Kuemper is such a dumb idea…


Why? Good goalie no? (I agree Merzlikins is a better idea, I just don’t get why Kuemper is a bad one).


So many recent injuries. Can you imagine a Skinner, Konovalov tandem in 21-22 in the NHL due to injuries to Smith and Kuemper? Way too much risk for my liking.

Old goalies scare me. Injury-prone 30 somethings are also right there…

Last edited 2 months ago by €√¥£€^$

OK, maybe I’m not aware of his full injury history… (you’re not talking about Raantaa, are you?). And he’s 31, so not ideal, but not ancient either. Anyway, I definitely agree Merzlikins is the better trade target.




Raanta certainly has an extensive injury history, but more recently, Kuemper is right there with him. The most recent was due to a knee injury. For goalies a knee is more concerning than for a skater.

Ulmark and Merzlikins also have had a few injury concerns, but neither were as significant as Kuemper have been over the last 2 seasons. EM is my preferred target for this reason, however.



Last edited 2 months ago by €√¥£€^$

Yeah, fair enough, some concern with a knee injury for sure. Based on games played certainly none of these guys are workhorses (and/or have been injured).

Last 3 years:
Kuemper 55, 29, 27
Raantaa 12, 33, 12
Merzlikins – , 33, 28
Ullmark 37, 34, 20

I’d put Raantaa in a class of his own as an injury worry, without too much to separate the others. Some concern for all of them I guess though.


Wouldn’t the fact that the article was published 2 days after the 2021 draft 1st round was finished bring their reliability into question?


This is a bit tootin’ my own, but 5 of the names I was looking out for on draft day had a team trade 2 or more picks to move up in the draft and pick them.

These were on my list:

  1. G Sebastian Cossa, Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL. DET spent a 23rd, a 48th, and a 138th pick to move up to 15th to pick Cossa.
  2. G Jesper Wallstedt, Lulea HF, SHL. MIN spent a 22nd, and a 90th to move up to 20th to pick Wallstedt.
  3. LW Zachary L’Heureux, Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL. NSH spent a 40th and a 51st to move up to 27th to pick L’Heureux.
  4. RW Carson Latimer, Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL. OTT spent a 136th and 170th to move up to the 123rd for Latimer.
  5. LC Jakub Brabenec, Brno, CZE. VGK spent a 114th and a 155th pick to move up to 102nd for Brabanec.

Edmonton could have drafted Wallstedt or L’Heureux at #20, or L’Heureux at #22, Brabenec at #90 (if they didn’t pick at #20), and Latimer at #116.

So either
Wallstedt and Latimer
L’Heureux, Brabenec and Latimer

I still think someone should have picked RHD Miguel Tourigny with a late pick. Someone sign that kid.


Cossa and Brabenec (he is a project, but could blossom in a few years) were 2 of only a handful of players that I was high on and had specifically mentioned here.

Svechkov and Josh Doan (who was taken much earlier than projected) were the others I mentioned and I think are going to be very good NHLers in 3 to 5 years.

Funny Bissonness

Ugh. I am going to be so bummed if we trade Bear. He’s just entering his prime and he’s very good. Also generally a super likeable guy. I get why. But I’m not going to like it if it happens.

I am glad we didn’t go the Ristolainen route. I think his game is too suspect. Not worth having on your team unless he’s pp1. And if we resign Barrie, he would be the 3rd best pp option on the point.

I just wish Adam Larsson’s DID grow on trees.

Scungilli Slushy

I wish Petry’s grew on 24 YO UFA trees.


In the land of Suess, I believe they duess!


It was funny, the sudden anger of seeing Nuge on the 3rd line of LT’s projected line up. Got me good.

This off season has already been such a roller coaster, from the joy brought by Nuge’s contract, to the confusion of Keith and disappointment of Larsson.

I suspect there will be more of the same to come this summer.


Are we completely certain the insiders framed the Keith deal properly. Was Edmonton the ONLY choice for the trade. Since the trade Calgary lost a $6.75M LHD to Seattle AND Vancouver signed a $8.2M LHD. Why would these teams not want to be in the bidding for player with a lower AAV and a 2 year term. A quick look at both teams depth chart would have Keith as at least a 2LHD.


This could all be true. I like Keith too, but when the price is too high, you simply revert to option 2 or 3 or 4.


I agree on walk away points being respected.
2nd pairing defenseman got very expensive this year. Keith is only one player in this story line that is playing out…

Harpers Hair

Calgary looks poised to spend big dollars on Jack Eichel if they can make the trade work and their top 4D are pretty much set.

Vancouver would not have been a player since Chicago would not want to take all the dead cap Arizona took from the Canucks.


On July 12 before the trade they could have been in on Keith with 2 years vs. OEL’s 6 years. Could OEL be Benning’s plan B? We now know Benning was loooking for an experienced LHD.


I believe the Canucks were all over OEL last year as well.

Last edited 2 months ago by Reja

Calgary has no assets of interest to give Buffalo, for Eichel.


Cassie Campbell.


Matthew Tkachuk and some Stampede Burgers is Calgary’s best bet.

Randle McMurphy

Jockey Hockey, a prospect and their 2022 1st 2nd and 3rd. (Calgary has 2 of each in 2022)


This makes some sense


I for one would love to see Calgary plunder their roster and mortgage their future for a player who needs cervical disc arthroplasty just to continue his career.


I disagree. If Calgary puts Lindholm, Zary, Mackey, Wolf, the 2022 1st, a 2023 2nd, and a 2024 1st on the table, then I think Buffalo is willing to talk.

The nice part is that this doesn’t make Buffalo so much better that they miss out on the big names coming in the 2022 and 2023 drafts.

But it is a decent package for Eichel and his questionable neck.

Were I Calgary… I might consider this. Would rather trade Monahan than Lindholm and might wish to send Coronato rather than Zary (as Zary is closer to ready), but everything else can be dealt if it gets me my superstar.


I think Eichel is a stud but I would love if the flames gave up so many pieces.

Harpers Hair

I actually don’t think it would take that much given where Buffalo is at.

Many reports say Buffalo wants 4 assets.

I would offer the 2022 1st round pick, Monahan, Dube and Wolf.

If they want more throw in a 2023 2nd and lower rated prospect.


If the flames think the lines of Hannifi, Andersson, Tanev and Valikmaki mean they are “set” in their top 4, I am very very happy.

Harpers Hair

Have you looked at the Oilers top 4 recently?


What in the world does that have to do about a conversation re: the flames top 4 is set? Absolutely nothing.

Harpers Hair

You criticize every other team in the league from within a glass house.

Perhaps before being such a bold critic you should spend some time assessing just how bad the Oilers D is and tempering your blather.


It’s hilarious how little self awareness you have. What a hilarious post.


What in the eff are you talking about? The conversation was about Eichel to the flame and related point about their top 4 D “being set”. This has nothing to do with the Oilers and nobody has said the Oilers current top 4 D “is set”.

I criticize every other team in the league? I do nothing of the sort. What is truthful is that you will praise every team in the league, their players, their prospect, their management, all of them, in an effort to criticize the Oilers. You even make stuff up, pure fantasy to do so.


forgot to take your medicine buddy ?


The Oilers have painted themselves into a corner with Goalies and I am very concerned.

We know the following:
-Hockey should be called “mostly Goalie”
-The odds of winning Stanley without a red hot Goalie or an ELITE Goalie are very, very low
-even Elite Gs (e.g., Price) can have some rough stretches
-even had the Oil drafted Cossa or Wallstedt, there are no guarantees they will be ELITE in 2-5 years
-most SCs have been won in the past 15-20 years with an internal (draft and develop) ELITE G, or a high end G on a heater
-Goalies are VOODOO

At this moment the Oilers have 3 NHL calibre goalies, but none of them are ELITE and Smith had a career year at age 38/39 and has now been signed for 2 more years. MK and MS project, at best, as a middle of the pack tandem. Stalock is a mid-low tier back up. I do not see the Oilers winning a cup with any of these 3 goalies as the starter.

I realize there is hope for Konovalov, Rodrigue and Skinner. My personal hope is at least Konovalov can rise to be about a “1B” in about 2 years. I am however very skeptical any of these Gs can be a top flight goalie (i.e., Top 8 starter in the league – increasing the likelihood of winning a Cup)…maybe Konovalov in 3 years. Maybe.

Now I know many of you may suggest that a top end goalie can be traded for later (e.g., next summer) or at the deadline (hey Rollie!) and the stars can align for a brief period of time and any team can ride a hot goalie in the playoffs…deep. But these are relatively low probability outcomes = higher risk of NOT winning a cup. We also KNOW that Ken Holland has a VERY poor history for making good hockey trades.

This suggests that the best way to increase the likelihood of obtaining a high tier goalie that can run with the McDavid cluster to contend for a Stanley Cup over the Holland window (which is now the next 3-4 years) is through UFA. I poked around UFA Goalies on Cap Friendly and the pickings are slim this year and very slim in the following 2 years.

There has been much talk on the blog about signing Ullmark. In my review of possible UFAs over the next 3 years….Ullmark is THE BEST OPTION. FULL STOP. I think it is imperative that KH go get Ullmark NOW. However, KH was in a rush to sign Smith (was there a pressing need to do this right now???) and as a result KH now has 3 NHL goalies signed for next year and 3 that need to get significant reps in the AHL/ECHL.

So….what to do?

Since Smith is Tipp’s boy and has just been signed (he ain’t going anywhere!), the best option is to package MK in a trade and make room for Ullmark. I do not want to buy MK out as he is an NHL goalie and I think most GMs would find a way to move him with minimal damage. I still have a hard time believing Kenny couldn’t get MK to Chicago in the Keith trade (e.g., 50% retained) as they need some goalie like MK for next year. Alas, not to be.

I would love to hear other posters thoughts on this topic, i.e., jp and others that have been keenly following the G scene the past few years.

But for me, right now there is nothing more important than getting a legitimate starting Goalie that has the potential to be a “Top 8” in the league starting this season. The list of options is very short. Get Ullmark NOW!


Good assessment but I hope you’re keeping your expectations in check.

Ullmark would be ideal … but there has not been much chatter about him … and Buffalo chose to protect him.

Ullmark may be returning to Buffalo, where he would be the undisputed number 1 there, so I would not put all my eggs in one basket with regards to finding a 1A goalie.

With respect to Smith … the other players seem to genuinely love having him on the team and feed off his positive energy. He won’t steal a playoff series anymore … but for 2.2 million, he’ll help mind the crease just fine in the regular season, and the cost to do so is reasonable.

I’d also love to see him stay on with the organization long term as a goalie coach, after this contract is done.


Thanks for the positive comment. 🙂
My expectations are low. This is the key position they need to address because I don’t think the Oilers have a goalie on the roster that can take them on a deep playoff run this year or in the next 3 years.


I don’t disagree with the general premise that goaltending is key to a run to the cup. I will say that “elite goaltending” is not necessary but the likes of Binnington, Murray and Khudobin show that good goaltenders that get in a groove at the right time can help a team get to the cup.

What I don’t understand is how “goaltenders are voodo” jives with the statement that none of the tenders in the Oilers system can help a cup run in the next 3 years.

I mean, tenders, including those that spend years in the AHL, all of a sudden “pop” and make the NHL and thrive in the NHL all the time. Skinner is progressing and there are goalies with similar numbers in their 2nd AHL seasons that become very good tenders. Konovalov’s early 20s seasons in the KHL lines up with some very good NHL tenders. Rodrigues was the best tender in the Q for the 2nd half of his last season and then turned pro in a Covid-year.

I’m not saying any of these three will be “that guy” in the next 3 years but they very well could – any of them. We see it all the time.


Precisely. I qualified my conjecture about this with the goalies are voodoo statement. They are hard to project. I am purely speculating based on the past history of cup victories and the need for top flight goaltending. I don’t want to see the Oilers keep patch working this position along like they have been since Dubby.

We know:
-MK is not our guy
-MS is not likely going to be a starting goalie in anything beyond the first round
-Stalock is not our guy

We won’t know about the capacity for our 3 solid prospects to be “that guy” for at least 2 seasons. And the UFAs are not looking good for the next 3 years. So the focus right NOW should be on getting someone that could “that guy” for the next 3-4 years.

Last edited 2 months ago by GordieHoweHatTrick

That 2nd last sentence isn’t necessarily true is it?

I mean, Konovalov is 23 – still young for a goalie but he could get a chance as an injury replacement and, for all we know, boom, he’s an NHL goalie.

I think we will know much more about the likely paths of both Skinner and Konovalvo in a year’s time.


Lots to unpack here.

I agree improving in net is important, and that Ullmark is the best (value) UFA available. I think Holland agrees an upgrade is important (he chased Markstrom last off-season after all). He hasn’t talked much about goal this year, but then again he didn’t last year prior to chasing Markstrom either.

That said, I’d guess Holland doesn’t see improving in goal as quite as critical as you do. He ran with Osgood and/or Howard for a damn long time in Detroit (Osgood was the starter for 2/3 cups, Hasek for the 3rd). I don’t think either Osgood or Howard were often considered top 8 goaltenders in the league.

I agree with you also that none of the Oiler goalie prospects projects as a quality starter. You never know of course, but certainly they’re not the kind of prospects you alter an NHL teams plans for.

Smith is interesting too. He reportedly wanted ‘starters money’ and a multi year deal. He got the multi year deal, but he’ll be paid as an average backup/1B. His deal is entirely compatible with a starter/1A being brought in. He also talked in his interview after signing about being all in to do whatever he can to help the team. He clearly wants to keep starting, but it seemed like he was expecting some legit competition this season or next.

So my guess is that Holland tries to add a higher end goaltender by UFA or trade. If he swings and misses though I think it is possible that Smith/Koskinen (Stalock) are the Oilers goalies next season.

If they’re going to add someone, as I said Ullmark seems like he’d be the best value. Considering Holland went after Markstrom last year I also wouldn’t totally rule out a play on Grubauer. I don’t see much beyond those two who’d be worth the UFA deal (which would entail eating half of Koskinen’s salary). Mrazek for instance, he’s an injury risk and he’s had lots of ups and downs of his own.

Guys like Merzlikins and Kuemper have been mentioned today as possibilities as well. Those are solid aisle’s to be shopping in. Merzlikins is every bit as good an option as Ullmark IMO. One of those two would be ideal solutions IMO.


Thanks for responding and providing your insight!

Randle McMurphy

I don’t mind

Nurse Bear
Keith Barrie
Forbert Bouchard
Samorukov Russell

Gives us one more year of data on Bear.

Unfortunately there’s almost no hope that Barrie signs without a full NMC.

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy

You have to like losing to like that defence imo.

Randle McMurphy

Agreed. It’s not what I would like. Just a stop gap to

Nurse Bouchard
Samorukov Bear
Borberg XXX

I just sense Holland is looking at Barrie for most of the same reasons he landed on Keith.

And LT’s spidey senses are tingling regarding a young un moving out.


I have been saying Bear was a trade chip since the end of last season. When Larsson left our host posted that that meant Bear couldn’t be traded and I responded that Larsson leaving made Bear even more susceptible to being moved.

No spidey sense involved. It just makes sense that if Barrie is going to be brought back then Bear & Bouchard cannot be the other two.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Just to be clear, do you:

1) Hope/want Bear to be traded


2) Think Bear will be traded

Trading Bear is the Petry trade all over again. Terrible idea. If signing Barrie = trading Bear then the team really should not sign Barrie.

Last edited 2 months ago by Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I will go a step further…

If signing Barrie = trading Bear then the team will not win a cup in the McDavid era and the GM should be fired.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Win a cup?! I am just hoping to win a playoff game!


Yeah that would be nice. Teams win playoff games with solid D. This team will not go far in the playoffs with Tyson Barrie in the lineup. If people don’t understand this, they aren’t watching playoff hockey.

Last edited 2 months ago by GordieHoweHatTrick

I think Bear will be traded. That said I have posted on this several times.

I keep reading that we should keep Bear because he is cost controlled but if we play him this season with Nurse on the first pairing just what do you expect his next contract to look like?

And I am not as high on Bear as many here. He is a great story for a 4th rounder but on a contending team I don’t believe he is more than a complementary partner above 3rd pairing. I don’t think he can be the dominant player on a 2nd pairing let alone on the first. He can carry a 3rd pairing.

That has value without doubt so I don’t want to trade him but with a lot of other holes in the defence it comes down to choices.

If I have to choose between signing Barrie for 3 years at $4.5 M and trading Bear for a position of weakness I think it is a judgement call because after one year as Nurse’s partner I expect Bear’s cap hit to start with a 4 anyway and I think that is the situation facing Holland. He has to make a choice because Barrie, Bear, Bouchard is a disaster for RD.

And, no, I don’t think Bear is Petry. Not even if I squint.

Last edited 2 months ago by defmn
Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Thanks for the clarification.

Trading Bear makes little sense to me as it would still leave a giant hole at RHD. Barrie and Bouchard are both suited to play on the bottom pair with pp time. They are essentially the same player type. Bear is currently our only RHD who is a decent pker. I just don’t see how trading Bear and signing Barrie improves/maintains the Oilers D, especially now that Larsson is gone.

Best to sign a stopgap RHD and trade other assets for forwards/goalies.


The problem – as I see it – is that we have no assets with enough value to bring anything substantial in return. 😉

No matter who is proposed in trade it leaves a hole because of bad drafting and years of incompetent management.


Just trade for Adam Larson. Problem solved…


I just don’t see how trading Bear and signing Barrie improves/maintains the Oilers D, especially now that Larsson is gone.

doesn’t this depend on the 3rd RD that gets brought in?

It is possible that Barrie-X-Bouchard is better than Bear-X-Bouchard.




Quick look at Demers and he still looks he has some game left.

Would probably take a short term deal.

Might work to fill the hole at 2RD without having to trade anyone out.

Randle McMurphy

Is this a Woodguy tweet from 2016? 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy
Harpers Hair

Vancouver pursued Demers a while back…he turned them Dow because he doesn’t want to play in Canada.




Does a person’s ass qualify as a source?


Depends on whose ass.

I think we may have found HH’s source:
comment image?itemid=5488891


The ultimate insider

Randle McMurphy

Yeah well Duh. Not that part of Canada.


Demers almost signed in Edmonton a few years back.


I looked at Demers last month and quickly came to the opposite conclusion…


I looked at Demers last month and quickly came to the opposite conclusion…

I have to agree that’s a puzzling take.

His relative numbers are as bad as Keith’s without playing #1D minutes (3rd pairing minutes actually).

Brantford Boy

You moved Nuge to No. 3 left wing… I’m very unhappy about this idea… what are you thinking?


Re: Adam Larsson departure. It’s surprising that nobody sees the numbers that caused him to leave. Think about Edmonton in February. The numbers are between 20 and 30 below zero. I know he’s Swedish, but come on. The difference in salary is money well spent.#harshclimate #hardtruths #moarprairieboys


I was in Portland for two weeks in the winter. This is no exaggeration – it rained every single day. Even worse, the sun was covered every day, save for a few hours a couple times. Maybe Seattle is slightly better.


Nope – Seattle gets typical coastal weather. That being said not everyone is bothered by a little drizzle.


that fact that you call 40 straight days of rain a little drizzle makes me wonder if you’ve even been there. i lived in vancouver for years and by february it’s grim. grim.

Last edited 2 months ago by thelongdark

Based on the reports that are circulating as to why Larsson left, weather is not one of them.


Holland insulted him by bringing in Keith at a 5.5M cap hit while lowballing Adam…Adam signed in Seattle a week later. It does not take a rocket surgeon…


He was so insulted he signed for less than Holland offered him in Seattle?


Except Holland didn’t sign Keith to his contract so it’s irrelevant. It would be a different story if Holland signed Keith to the contract and then tried to lowball Larsson.

Larsson doesn’t have to be a rocket surgeon to see that bringing Keith in was to try to fill the gaping void left by Klefbom and has nothing to do with his own contract.


He never low-balled him. The Keith acquisition (which Holland discussed with Larsson) never lowered any offers to Larsson and its well known that he offered the same contract as Seattle and one with even more term.

Its also well known that multiple offers were made since negotiations started in January.

What was insulting Larsson in the prior 5-6 months?


The original offer of 3.9 was lower than he was making prior to his UFA. That is the definition of low ball given him being able to go UFA. This after taking on a cap hit of 5.5 for Keith. How much would you respect an employer that wanted you to take a pay cut for your prime years?


I’d ask Nugent-Hopkins, who is younger than Larsson and took a lower AAV.

Maybe ask Eberle if he respect Lou L. when he signed for a lower AAV around that age.

Also, I’m not sure there was a $3.9M offer – that number was a speculated AAV number by Spector.

Also, an AAV lower than current does not, in itself, constitute a “lowball offer” – lowball offer is one materially lower than market.


I say sign UFA’s Josh Manson (3X$3.5) and Alex Edler (2X$1.5) on the back end, Hyman (7X$5.5) and Getzlaf (2X$2.75) up front, and hard push for Ullmark in net (4X$4). Would have to buy out Neal and trade Koski @ 50% retained with a 2022 pick somewhere and would be left with around $1M in cap.




Lavoie, Maximov, Broberg, Samorukov all percolating beautifully


Oops by Josh Manson I meant ***Brandon Montour*** .


Might need to pay Edler a bit more to get him but I see him as a bigger left handed Adam Larsson and would give Bouche a real steady partner for the year. Just have a gut feeling Edlers coming to Edmonton

Last edited 2 months ago by bmclav

Montour is getting lost in the shuffle a bit in Florida right now and I think he’ll shake loose. Right in his prime at 27 and I think he’s a good bet at what should be reasonable cap


Manson isn’t a UFA.

Harpers Hair

JFresh (@JFreshHockey) Tweeted:
Just for fun (and to put my life in danger), here’s a post-expansion, post-draft, pre-free agency standings projection from the roster builder. 

This is with all pending UFA removed from the depth charts.

John Chambers

JFresh is a bonehead. The only thing he’s accurate on is his avatar


I thought JFresh was the D.J. for the Beastie Boys

Material Elvis

He has NYR finishing first in the Metropolitan; that says enough.


I respect JFresh for his work and effort but I put zero stock in his player cards – there are so many that don’t represent reality vis-a-vis a player’s value that I simply can’t trust them. I don’t imagine his mythologies in other areas can be either.


I like Wennberg as a 3C option – 2LW is interesting. If he come at apx $3M, I’m all over it.

I’m 100% on board with Mrazek for 1 year – have suggested him in the past.

I am not on board with Barrie at $4.5M – probably “value” for his offence but I just don’t like “the mix”. I know Manson has not done as well recently without Lindholm and maybe its a cliff but, for one year left on his reasonable deal, I’d try to acquire it – can’t be that expensive to acquire, would it?

I’d prefer Kulikov to Koekkoek at similar money. Kulikov brings more of what was lost in Adam Larsson.


Smith at $2.2M – a fine bet for this coming season as long as there is another goalie to pair him up with the take on a 50/50 split of games – subject to performance. Can Stalock be that guy? I’m not so sure he couldn’t but that’s a risky bet going in to the season.

The 2nd year for Smith isn’t great but I presume that he would have “required” more than $3M for a one year deal. Subject to a full cliff, which could happen, $2.2M for a legit back-up in 2022/23 isn’t the worst thing.


I’d like Khaira back – I like his PK, I like his size and aggression (in particular with Larsson gone and if Kass is moved), I like his beard and he was positive GF% at evens ith Archie last years. At the same time, I’m comfortable with the inevitable Luke Glandenning signing, of course, for under $1M, one year. He’s a legit right shot faceoff guy with high end PK accument. He simply permits Leon to be left off the PK almost completely – Leon out there for faceoffs and then having to spend, 20-60 seconds on the PK if he loses the face, far from ideal.


Glandenning is the second coming of Eric Belanger

Scungilli Slushy

Belanger was fine the season before the Oilers. It was the team at that time that torpedoed all.

Glendenning is a faceoff winning RC that apparently can still skate and has a physical edge.

He knows his role. He was decent on a bad team. He had 74% DZ starts. He PK’s.

It’s him or D Ryan. They need a faceoff RC. Especially on PK. I’d bring both Ryan and Glendenning before Chiasson, unless he can learn faceoffs tout suite.

At this point the Oilers still can’t do the details well enough, and that is what is stopping them. Paying 2-3 million more for 5-7 more goals and still failing at the basics won’t make the team stronger IMO.

It is technically possible to fill all holes well. This GM won’t do that. So take incremental improvements, it’s better than not being able to win a RS faceoff.

Victoria Oil

If hockey players’ facial hair could be traded like the stock market, I would go long Khaira’s beard and short Auston Matthews’ ‘stache.


Would Oilers have any interest in Virtanen?




He’s an excellent skater, and when he is motivated he’s a good player.Unfortunately he has baggage, but some team will give him another chance.

Funny Bissonness

Sexual assault is more than just baggage. You work for Montreal’s amateur scouting dept.? I don’t think his skating ability is part of the equation anymore. That’s like saying Logan Mailloux was a good pick because he had the most upside of any prospect available.

Harpers Hair

Innocent until proven guilty is still a tenet of the justice system.

Be careful.


More a theory than a tenet.

Funny Bissonness

I am aware of that. In this case the careful play would be to not hire someone who has a pending sexual assault charge against them. Ignoring that would be reckless.

Please note that I didn’t say he had been convicted or that he is guilty. I just pointed out that we should not downplay something so serious with language such as baggage.


Not really in North America anymore.


Anymore? You must have some rose colored glasses on while going through North American history.

Scungilli Slushy

From what we know publicly you aren’t speaking about the same things. Both bad, not the same.

Anyways per LT this isn’t the place for it.

Randle McMurphy

Yes. At $900k for one year.

Great bottom six addition.

Randle McMurphy

Oops…forgot about the criminal charges. Would have to have a lot more in-depth knowledge of the situation to make a reasoned assessment.

Harpers Hair

There are no criminal charges and after all this time there may not be.

There is a civil suit pending.


Koskinen for Subban (33% retained).
Sign McIlrath $1 million
Sign a new backup goaltender

Cost of Koskinen plus Larsson was $8.7 million AAV
Cost of Subban (33% retained $6 million for 1 year) plus Mrazek $2.2 million = $8.2 million is roughly the same

One doesn’t have to tie up any long term money in a Larsson replacement, and buys time for Broberg and Samorukov, and for next years UFA class.

Nurse Bear
Keith Bouchard
Samorukov Subban (Koekkoek, Subban)
Russell McIlrath


Funny Bissonness

I like the trade but don’t think NJ would go for it just based on the real dollars involved. PK is only going to make 2M in salary this year. I doubt NJ wants to pay Mikko 4.5M plus 667K to Subban to play for the Oilers.

I do like if though and would be okay with sweetening it to make it happen. I think a stop gap makes more sense than trading bear.


We’ve actually got some live video of the Oilers braintrust reacting to losing Larsson by signing Barrie, then deciding that they can’t have three puck moving RD so deciding to trade Bear for a stay at home 2RD (instead of just signing/acquiring a stay at home 2RD instead of Barrie):


$5.125M for a 3rd line winger?

Material Elvis

Leavins stated that Holland is looking for a 3LW and that Ryan McLeod might be the 3C to start the season. So basically watching that position get caved in for the past two seasons, Holland is going to go with the status quo? That really doesn’t make any sense and would upset me more than any other off-season move. Glaring hole at 3C Ken!!


Yup. 3C and goal had to be the priorities entering the off season. Larsson leaving added a 3rd element.


I think the belief is that McLeod has shown enough to get the three C position. He is defensively sound and the offence should come with more experience and better wingers. His speed is an asset that you will not get unless you’re willing to spend big dollars on cap and high acquisition cost. There is also the possibility that Nuge and or Holloway may move into the third centre spot. Tying up cap before finding what you have internally would be foolish. See the Turris fail!


I would disagree, from what we saw this past season, I think we saw that McLeod is NOT ready for the 3C position – not if the 3rd line is to at least outscore the opposition as part of that is actually scoring, goals for.

I don’t think that McLeod will help contribute to enough offensive production until he learns to engage physically and battle. No, he doesn’t have to be “a bruiser” but he currently avoids contact and battle with consistency – he turns away from hits, he doesn’t get to the front of the net, etc.

I think he has the skill and smarts to be a 3C – he certainly has the size and speed but, until he learns to trust his body, he’s a 4C/PK guy to me.

Here is hoping that he learns to engage and stay in the battle as he gets stronger and gets his man strength because, if he doesn’t, his ceiling is lowered.

This has been an issue with McLeod dating back to junior and, even this past season in the AHL, it wasn’t much improved – that line was so dominant, mind you, that they didn’t really need “to battle” – they always had the puck.


Nine post OP. McLeod pencilled in as 3C is not good.


If the can get the first two lines humming they won’t need the third line to out score but to break even. It is very strange that so many posters get angry when young players don’t get a chance and others get upset when young players do get a chance. How are the younger players supposed to get the requisite experience. If you want McLeod to be a center he has to play center and get ice time. He will not get the requisite time on the fourth line as a center due the amount of time given McDavid and Draisaitl. It is sort of a catch 22.


I never said not to give McLeod the chance.

I simply stated that, from what we’ve seen so far, he isn’t a legit 3C in the NHL in response to a statement that he’s shown enough to be a 3C.

McLeod has already been given the chance – for a decent stretch this past season and playoffs. Everyone loved him because of his speed and he got to some loose pucks but, at the end of the day, he didn’t live up to the position and what the team needs from that position.

I’m not saying that he shouldn’t get another chance this year – depending on roster construction, absolutely, give him a chance.

I’ve expressed what I think needs to change in his game in order to succeed if given that chance.

In closing, i will continue to disagree that he has “shown enough to get the 3C position”.


My initial statement was that the thought is that McLeod had shown enough to be penciled in as third line centre and that there are contingencies ie Holloway and Nuge if it didn’t work. The question will be with only so much cap what holes can the team realistically be able to fill this year without doing damage or put cap restrictions on the team moving forward. In no way did I mean to imply that McLeod was the ideal fix. He is not going to get the requisite ice time playing fourth line center to improve. Hence catch 22.


McLeod did not have legitimate 3rd line NHL wingers.

To be sure he needs to get more physically involved and us his size. But he is a rookie and needs more time.

Would I prefer a veteran 3C. Yes.

He has been our best 3C in some time- ludicrously low bar for sure.

But McLeod could thrive, say with Holloway, at 3C.Needs real wingers though.


Yes, he is a rookie and needs more time.

My post was in response to the opinion that he has shown enough to be the 3C, right now.

I disagreed, with my reasons why and what I think he needs to do in order to be a legit 3C.

I never said he shouldn’t be given more opportunities nor that he can’t/won’t progress.

Harpers Hair

McLeod reminds me of the famous Magnus Pajaarvi.

Great wheels…hands of stone.

Material Elvis

Only if the team wants yet another season of badly losing the shot and goal differentials with 97 and 29 on the bench.



Virtanen bought out….

Last edited 2 months ago by McSorley33
Material Elvis

Ok I gotta ask: why do you sound surprised?


I missed his alleged criminal conduct. I guess .

Harpers Hair

No surprise there.


Hi, Art!

Last edited 2 months ago by Tragikomix

Koskinen and Turris for Subban.

Koskinen for Subban(30%retained).

Last edited 2 months ago by godot10

Those aren’t bad suggestions at all (realizing Subban finally has only 1 year left).

Option 2 you’d be getting Subban for 1 year for $2.5M more than you’re paying Koskinen.

Randle McMurphy

Koskinen for Subban (30% retained)

Concept seems good. Numbers seem wonky.

That would leave NJ with Koskinen and 2.7m retained = $7.2m in cap

That would leave Oilers with Subban at $6.3m in cap

I like it for the Oilers, not for the Devils.


For Malcolm, sure.

Randle McMurphy

“You can see it coming like a wild prairie storm building on the horizon.”

And some view the darkening clouds with trepidation,

while others eagerly await the relief that will come with the rain.

Last edited 2 months ago by Randle McMurphy

Rain is nice,
Golf ball sized hail stones?
Not so much


There are some NHL rumor sites suggesting that Elvis Merzlikins could be an Oilers trade target.

I know he’s an OP fav.

He’s 27 and had a .916 last season.


Elvis would be an excellent addition

Randle McMurphy

That’s Alright Momma!

Dee Dee

Elvis has left the building.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dee Dee
Harpers Hair

Just one more Ian Clark success story.

Material Elvis

That would be a material acquisition.


I hear he has a ton of flex appeal
with the ladies

Last edited 2 months ago by Pescador

I would like Merzlikins but I’m not sure where you get “OP fav” from.

I don’t think I’ve ever really expressed a great desire that particular player


I thought you had written a post about him as a desirable trade target in the past. If I am incorrect, I apologize. I like Elvis btw.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ryan